WASHINGTON, DC, July 22, 2005 - Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns will continue his nationwide farm bill listening tour when he hosts a Farm Bill Forum in Iowa on August 11, in addition to the previously announced events in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The public is invited to attend the forums to offer comments on farm bill policy.
"I am eager to hear from the people we serve and the turn-out for the first Farm Bill Forum tells me the public is engaged and cares about creating a stronger rural America through good farm policy," said Secretary Johanns. "The Farm Bill Forums provide stakeholders the opportunity to share their thoughts about changes we should consider as we prepare for a new farm bill."
The Secretary announced the following Farm Bill Forum:
Aug. 11, 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (CST), Iowa State Fair, Des Moines, IA
The Secretary has previously announced the following upcoming Farm Bill Forums:
July 26, 12:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (CST), North Dakota State Fair, Minot, ND
Aug. 3, 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (CST), Farm Fest, Redwood County, MN
Aug. 4, 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. (CST), Wisconsin State Fair, West Allis, WI
When participating in the forums, the public is invited to respond to one or more of the following six questions. The format of the forum will also allow an open comment period for general farm bill comments.
1. How should farm policy address any unintended consequences and ensure that such consequences do not discourage new farmers and the next generation of farmers from entering production agriculture?
2. How should farm policy be designed to maximize U.S. competitiveness and our country's ability to effectively compete in global markets?
3. How should farm policy be designed to effectively and fairly distribute assistance to producers?
4. How can farm policy best achieve conservation and environmental goals?
5. How can Federal rural and farm programs provide effective assistance in rural areas?
6. How should agricultural product development, marketing and research-related issues be addressed in the next farm bill?
The public is also welcome to submit their comments via the USDA Farm Bill Forums website at http://www.usda.gov/farmbill. Throughout 2005, Johanns and other senior USDA officials will participate in the Farm Bill Forums that will be held across the country. The dates, locations and times of the forums will continue to be announced as they are scheduled and posted on the USDA website.